Charlotte mounted an impressive fourth-set comeback to put away Fordham and win the 49ers' first conference match of the season in a 3-1 (25-19, 25-27, 25-21, 25-23) Sunday afternoon at Halton Arena in Atlantic 10 action. The 49ers snap an eight-match skid and improve to 7-12 on the season, 1-6 in the A-10. Fordham falters to 5-17, 2-5 in A-10 play.
The 49ers hit an amazing .500 in the opening set en route to a .225 attack percentage, their highest since a home win over Winthrop on September 14.
"We got out on the right foot, and we needed that to get some confidence and get on a roll," said Charlotte head coach Chris Redding.
Charlotte and Fordham played a tight second set, with the Rams overcoming a 20-17 deficit late in the frame to take a 27-25 win to tie the match heading into the intermission.
Charlotte jumped out to a quick 9-4 lead in the third set, and fended off a 5-1 surge to sneak by for a 25-21 win to take a 2-1 match lead.
In the fourth set, Charlotte got down 17-10 and called a timeout to insert junior setter Lily Vera (Anderson, S.C. / Stone Bridge HS) for a spark. Charlotte put together a 9-3 run before a Fordham timeout and finished with a 6-3 run to take the match.
"Our chemistry got off a little there in the fourth and we went to Lily for a spark," said Redding. "All of our players have been improving, including our freshmen, and we just need to keep working hard in practice and keep getting better."
Charlotte's kills leader, junior Bianca Rouse (Columbia, S.C. / Keenan HS), led all players with 12 kills, with sophomore Amanda Videmsek (Highland Heights, Ohio / Beaumont School) tallying 11 kills and seven blocks. Freshman Laura Cantrell (Millers Creek, N.C. / West Wilkes HS) took advantage of her second start of the season with eight kills and one error in 19 attempts for a career-high .368 attack percentage. She also added a career-high seven digs. Fellow freshman Savannah Gaster (Johnsonville, S.C. / Johnsonville HS) had a team-high .438 attack percentage and tied Videmsek with seven blocks. Junior libero Jenna Litoborski (Lemont, Ill.) led all 49ers with 10 digs.
Charlotte will hit the road next week for a Philadelphia road trip, taking on La Salle Friday night before a meeting with Temple on Saturday night. Both matches start at 7 p.m.